The Super Bowl got some opera treatment on Sunday with a national anthem performance of Renée Fleming. The soprano sung to music played by the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra on the field for the traditional tribute to the USA. She was also joined by 32 singers from military choruses and choirs.
Fleming was the first-ever opera signer to sing the national anthem at the Super Bowl. The song is typically sung by pop artists prior to the annual event. The move to hire Fleming for the national anthem offered a stark contrast with the halftime performance of Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The opera-style performer was perhaps an ode to the city of New Jersey, which was the setting for the Super Bowl.
The performance by Fleming was 1:53 long, and featured a more classical pace and feel compared to previous renditions by pop stars. But fears of a drawn-out version that drew the ire of fans or sent Twitter into convulsions were clearly overblown.